In a recent article for Dissent Magazine, Jack Schneider, assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross, discusses the current issues surrounding the Department of Veteran Affairs. Various VA hospitals have recently been exposed for using unauthorized waiting lists to hide the realities of the veterans who wait months to get care—a scandal that has brought forth what the public understands as being new issues, but which veterans and their families know to be decades old. “The core issue in this unfolding scandal is not one of corruption, of bureaucratic dysfunction, or of administrative incompetence,” Schneider says. “Instead, the problem is rooted in how we calculate the cost of war, which has consistently and dramatically underestimated the price of caring for the wounded.”
As we continue to participate in war, the demand of care for the wounded continues to grow, in turn overwhelming VA hospitals, which remain continuously understaffed. Schneider, who witnessed this first hand as his veteran father had to navigate this system, explains that “these men and women suffered because their collective needs were too numerous to be adequately addressed by the existing system—something most Americans, and even many of our political leaders, are unaware of.” While the current scandal comes as no surprise to Schneider, he asserts that least surprising of all “is how this latest tragedy is unfolding—as a scandal rather than as a call for action.”
This is a “Holy Cross in the News” item by Evangelia Stefanakos.